For the past six years, Arts Council Malta (ACM) has promoted innovation within Malta’s cultural and creative sectors while also safeguarding the dynamic development of the country’s cultural characteristics. we have built a sustainable creative economy for artists and practitioners, facilitating participation and continuing to serve as a strategic leader and catalyst within the sectors. Furthermore, ACM also works to increase the accessibility of cultural and creative activities within Malta’s cultural ecosystem.
When Strategy2020 was launched in 2015, our local cultural and creative sectors were a different landscape to what we see now. Since then, we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in government investment in the sectors, a bolder presence of Malta within the international artistic community, and stronger local and international partnerships. The knowledge base concerning how these sectors function, as well as their overall social and cultural impact, has also been nurtured and expanded, and ever more people are benefitting from public funding – both directly and indirectly. Public Cultural Organisations and independent cultural entities in Malta have improved their capacity building exponentially, and arts education and schools are being increasingly prioritised via collaborations with artists to increase students’ exposure to the arts.
Our strategic success has resulted from bold and fruitful collaborative efforts with a wide range of stakeholders, both in the public sector and with artists and cultural operators whose dynamism, creativity and innovation have enriched the sectors substantially over the past few years. Throughout it all, ACM has played a central and vital role in investment, advocacy and support, empowering and facilitating these improvements over the years.
Nevertheless, at ACM we are acutely aware that challenges remain, which we will need to address over the coming years. In particular, we aim to focus on creative and artistic engagement across all age groups, especially given the adversity faced since 2020. We intend to open up new opportunities by facilitating stronger collaborations between educational institutions and cultural organisations and practitioners as a key starting point.
Despite recent challenges relating to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cultural and creative sectors, ACM’s first strategy can be considered a success. The difficulties and misfortune we faced motivated a rethink of how best to support sectoral development, and we have used this opportunity to address the artistic and cultural needs and concerns of both the sectors and the Maltese public. To this end, we increased our participatory mechanisms so as to hold and facilitate our public consultation process leading towards Strategy 2025. We conducted extensive conversations with the public and artistic, cultural and creative representatives, and we also held internal retrospectives and evaluation procedures targeting the different challenges and opportunities faced over the years.
With the National Cultural Policy 2021 having been launched in September 2021, Strategy 2025 aims to contribute to its implementation alongside strategies from other relevant public entities. We aim to align our goals with the Policy’s priorities and commitment to embracing culture for the well-being of all, highlighting the importance of cultural rights within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and addressing the Status of the Artist head on – something which has become ever more pertinent given the recent challenging global context.
Strategy 2025 has been designed together with the people it will most impact. Our participatory approach to the strategy’s creation is being practised with immediacy. Culture is where new narratives and mindsets are developed and new societal shifts occur. Importantly, it is an enabler of long-term sustainability. Care, Create, Flourish is our mantra, best capturing how ACM will enable and position the sustainable and inclusive growth of Malta’s cultural and creative sectors as being integral to the well-being of all. Sustainability and inclusivity shall be endorsed holistically and comprehensively in policy directions, funding and investment.
Since drafting Strategy 2025, we have gathered invaluable feedback from ACM’s stakeholder groups, including cultural and creative practitioners, organisations, sectoral representatives and public entities operating within and/or with an interest in arts and culture. The feedback has indicated that we are on the right track to addressing the sector’s main challenges and ambitions, which is encouraging. ACM is also appreciative and grateful for the time, insights, suggestions and comments that have led to improvements made to Strategy 2025.
Now, ACM presents our final Strategy 2025, paving the way for our work in the coming four years. The staff at ACM looks forward to working with all stakeholders to continue supporting and promoting the development of Malta’s cultural and creative sectors.
Download Arts Council Malta's Strategy2025 here.